In Case You Missed It:
SCA 10/ACA 4 – Greater Legislative Transparency
Law seeks to end gut and amend
The Daily Democrat, May 8, 2013
…Three California legislators have teamed up to try to stop their colleagues from stripping the text out of legislation and replacing it with unrelated verbiage, preventing any real scrutiny.
Not surprisingly, the proposed constitutional amendment has met with resistance from other legislators — especially the kind of legislators who would prefer their constituents not know what really goes on in Sacramento.
…The public has made it clear that it wants an end to backroom deals and to legislation written by and for the benefit of moneyed special interests.
Gut and amend trickery isn’t changing soon
The Bakersfield Californian, May 7, 2013
…In the world of con artistry, it’s known as bait and switch. The con man promotes one thing and delivers an unexpected something else.
In Sacramento, the same trick is known as gut and amend…
That’s bad government.
Editorial: Stop disgrace of ‘gut and amend’ in Legislature
Sacramento Bee, May 1, 2013
…At the last minute in the last hour of the California legislative session, lawmakers resort to a stealth maneuver called “gut and amend.” They strip out the original language of a bill and insert wholly new, unrelated language.
A bill on air pollution morphs into a bill on immigration. A bill on college tuition becomes a bill on shark fins. In the last three weeks of the 2011 session, legislators gutted and amended 48 bills, passing 22 of them. Gov. Jerry Brown signed 19 of them.
This has to stop.
Dan Walters: California reverting to secrecy
Sacramento Bee, May 7, 2013
…The Legislature should give the public and those directly affected some time to weigh the import and impact of a new law before it is enacted, unless there’s a genuine emergency.
Or, to turn it around, it’s bad form for the Legislature to whip up secret legislation and impose it on the public. But the Legislature often does just that, thus violating the spirit, and perhaps the letter, of the constitution. It’s called “gut-and-amend.”
…Secret government is becoming routine in California, once a pioneer in open meetings and open records laws. We Californians should not tolerate being treated so arrogantly by our supposed public servants.
Editorial: End ‘gut and amend’ in Sacramento
Orange County Register, May 8, 2013
As the California Legislature grinds toward the Aug. 31 deadline to pass bills this year, frantic activity will occur. In a process called “gut and amend,” dozens of bills will have their contents removed and replaced with entirely new language, often having nothing to do with the subject of the original bill. In the Capitol, it goes by the acronym GANDA.
For bills that can run dozens of pages, this means most legislators will have no idea what’s in the new …
Sacramento needs sunlight
San Francisco Chronicle, May 5, 2013
…So what happened last week with ACA4, which would have required bills to be in print and available online for public viewing 72 hours before a vote?
The chair of the Assembly Budget Committee announced at the start of a hearing that it would be sent to the “suspense file” – where bills are left to wither and die – before anyone even had a chance to testify.
…The notion that backroom deals somehow lead to better lawmaking makes sense only to those who are doing the public’s business behind the curtain.
California amendment may slow down ‘gut and amend’ political tactics
89.3 KPCC Public Radio, May 9, 2013
…Right before legislature is about to vote on a bill that’s gone through discussion and revisions, politicians switch out the bill’s original language and replace it with new language. This allows the new language to escape the public, and sometimes lawmakers, watchful eyes…
SCA 10 in the Senate, would require all non-emergency bills to be published for 72 hours before voting is allowed.
# # #